Lady Margaret turns 90
Peter Loughlin has always had a passion for classic boats. So it came as no surprise that he jumped at the chance to purchase the Lady Margaret, a classic launch celebrating her 90th birthday this October. Read more about this Westhaven customer that you may have spotted cruising this summer, or residing at Westhaven.
Peter’s love of classic boats dates back decades. His great grandfather ran a number of launches on Lake Taupo in the height of the 1920’s trout fishing boom and his father was born in 1930 next to the harbourmaster office in Taupo. Peter says “the love for classic boats is in our blood. My childhood would often involve looking at old boats on trips during the school holidays. “I’ve also been attracted to them as they are relatively economical to run and don’t involve a huge capital outlay” says Peter. “But foremost, they deserve to be preserved”
The Lady Margaret is a 1928 Colin Wild Bridgedeck launch built at Stanley Bay, Auckland for Mr H.O Wiles. Designed as an Express Cruiser she was ‘the launch’ on the Hauraki Gulf in the 1930’s and cruised an average of 2000 nautical miles a year with regular visits to the Great Barrier Island and Far North. Peter explains that “there are a lot of historic of pictures of this boat, one with at least 18 people on deck at Hururu Falls, Bay of Islands on a summer cruise in 1930”. “They were all dressed to the nines” says Peter.
Peter is the 8th owner of the beautiful Lady Margaret, one of New Zealand’s priceless marine antiquities. “I first met Lady Margaret around 1998 and again in February 2014 when I acquired her. Her spiral staircase to the bridgedeck really got me and her hard-chine semi-displacement design was years ahead of its time” says Peter. She has four berths forward, separate shower and head and a very large galley that is almost a quarter of her 42 foot waterline length. The bridgedeck is the most popular part of the ship with 360 degree views. Aft of the bridgedeck and down the spiral stair is the saloon/owners cabin leading to the well protected cockpit.
Lady Margaret commenced naval service in 1941 as a Naval Auxiliary Patrol (NAPS) launch during WW2. After a fire in 1943 left the Lady Margaret damaged, boat builders modernised her with raked back bridgedeck windscreens and a dog-box and cockpit aft.
The Lady Margaret is maintained predominately by Peter and he explains “I’m not looking for her to be in concourse condition, I want her to be a launch that we can take away for weeks on end, fish from and use regularly which we do.”
For a boat nearly 90 years old, the Lady Margaret is well loved and used. Peter, and family spend three out of four weeks away in summer and at least once a month winter cruising. She can often be spotted at Pier B in Westhaven Marina or on the Hauraki Gulf cruising around Great Barrier, The Mercs, Coromandel and Waiheke.
You’ll find the Lady Margaret voyaging around Great Barrier on her 90th birthday.